Monday, May 31, 2010

Memorial Day Weekend



Memorial Day Weekend means being thankful for our veterans, for all who have served, who serve and will serve this country. Memorial Day Weekend means a busy weekend on the beach, lots of people, traffic & friends, good food and great times.






Tonight we ended up at the beach again at sunset, playing our game of tar pit, again (we taught it to our friends, too!). We <3 Florida!

video

Missy found this little shell tonight. It was so neat to watch it 'breathe' awhile before letting it go back in the water. In the first photo collage you can also see a picture of a live sand dollar - our first to see here! One of our guests also found a shark tooth, and today the Captain & I saw another manatee on our morning walk! Unfortunately it was too far away to see in detail, but we saw it come to surface for air. I also saw a huge sting ray jump up into the air while talking to a friend on our balcony. What a magical place...

Thursday, May 27, 2010

Tar Pit (What??)/Tervapataa



Tar pit?? What is that? Well, it is a Finnish game from my childhood, called Tervapata, which is translated into English "Tar pit". 5ennie's memory being what it is, we played it last night without having a name for it, and played it wrong, but oh how much fun it was! Afterward I googled outdoor games (in Finnish), and got the correct name and rules. I drew a little picture below of the game. You need the minimum of 3 players, but having at least 4-6 makes it more fun. Seven or more are fine too! We have played this on ice/snow, on sand, on pavement, so it makes it a great game anywhere, and with various ages - Little Miss is 4 and did fine with everyone else. The Captain & 5ennie got a great work-out too ;-)



One person is "The Tar Cook", and everyone else has a little "nest" around the tar pot. The Cook walks or runs around outside the pot and drops an object (shovel in our case last night, could be a stone, a stick or anything else) behind someone. The people in their nests can't look behind them until The Cook has passed them, and if they find the object behind them, they run the opposite direction from the The Cook, trying to race back into their nest. If they make it before The Cook, he/she has to try again, dropping the object behind somebody else. If they don't, the other person becomes the new Cook. It is great fun to pretend to drop the object and fool the players in their nests :)

Here are the official Finnish directions:
(Eli Tervapadan ohjeet suomeksi, me tosin pelasimme sitä eilen väärin, enkä edes muistanut pelin nimeä ennen kuin googlasin ulkoleikit :)

Tervapata:
Maahan piirretään suuri ympyrä. Yksi leikkijöistä valitaan tervankeittäjäksi ja muut asettuvat padan ympärille seisomaan tai istumaan kasvot ympyrän keskustaan päin. Jokainen piirtää ympärilleen pienen pesän. Keittäjä lähtee kiertämään pataa toisten leikkijöiden takana kädessään jokin sovittu pieni esine, esim. tikku, kivi, avain tms. Hän yrittää kävellessään tai juostessaan hämätä muita, että voisi pudottaa esineen salaa jonkun leikkijän taakse tämän pesän sisään. Kun keittäjä on pudottanut esineen, hänen täytyy kiertää pata kerran ja tulla kyseisen leikkijän taakse uudelleen, jolloin tämä "pohjaan palanut" luovuttaa paikkansa ja hänestä tulee uusi keittäjä. Jos leikkijä epäilee, että esine on pudotettu hänen taakseen, hän kurkkaa ja sieppaa nopeasti esineen käteensä ja lähtee juoksemaan ympyrää keittäjän vastaiseen suuntaan. Se, kumpi ehtii ensin pesälle, saa siihen jäädä ja toisesta tulee uusi keittäjä.


More pictures from last night. Guess what we will be doing tonight? Yup, more Tar pit :)

Sunday, May 23, 2010

Beach Fun/Rannalla (edelleen)



We have had a quiet weekend due to the Captain being away on a men's retreat (on Nantucket!), and Little Miss running a temperature. Today she was fine again, and we were able to go to church, and are actually headed to the beach in a few minutes to meet some new friends.





In addition to swimming and swimming, we build sand castles and creations, waterways and Hippo Bird Day cakes. Squirt guns from the Dollar Tree have been a great hit too ;-)




And today! I still can't believe it: Brother A & I saw a manatee right in front of our condo on our morning walk! It was so cool to see it look for breakfast from the rocks near the pier and occasionally come up for air with nostrils wide open. Too bad I only had my iPhone (like usual) to take pictures with!! My first ever manatee sighting!



Our newest use for my trusty crockpot: we made brownies in it! The Mothership doesn't have an oven, but now we can make brownies even on the road! You can find the recipe here. I just used a boxed brownie mix. They didn't look the prettiest, but with some mint ice cream on top they were delicious!



And no blog post without a sunset picture.. Every day we sneak out to take a short walk during sunset. So gorgeous!!

*****

Pikkuisemme on ollut kipeä viimeiset pari päivää, tänään onneksi terve taas. Olemmekin pian lähdössä rannalle uusien ystävien kanssa, ja vesipistoolit tulevat tietty mukaan :)
Tänään aamukävelyllä Veli A ja minä näimme manaatin!! Ekaa kertaa elämässäni, joten oli upea kokemus! Harmitti vaan kun ei ollut kuin kännykkäkamera mukana...

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

We Live And Breathe The Beach.../Rannalla




We got back to the beach yesterday, and quickly unloaded the car so we could head to the beach to play and watch the sunset. I love watching our kids at the beach, they are skipping (not walking), they are smiling & humming as they play. What a happy feeling!



They even posed for me!! (Of course, I won't add the one where Brother T punched Brother A and Brother A went after Brother T...)



I am happy here too!






This morning's walk was spectacular, as always. What a great way to start the day!




We actually had a really busy day today. I think today's theme was making friends. I met a wonderful local lady in the morning, and by lunch felt like we were close friends. And in the afternoon we joined a local homeschooling weekly beach date and made more friends! (BloggerMama here is quite embarrassed and shocked we didn't take a single photo on that outing.. We were just too busy to socialize!!) On our after dinner beach walk the kids made another friend also. All this was after getting in a full day of homeschooling, including an art hour for the girls!





Yes, we live and breathe the beach (including the sand, cough cough).

************

Tulimme takaisin tänne rannalle eilen. Rakastamme olla täällä! Meri ja ranta vetää puoleensa ainakin kolme kertaa päivässä, ihana kun on kävelymatkan päässä! Tänään meillä oli tiivis päivä, kotikoulun jälkeen menimme paikallisen kotikouluryhmän kanssa rannalle pariksi tunniksi, saaden uusia ystäviä ja paljon kaivattua aikaa saman ikäisten lasten kanssa. Illalla lähdimme taas kävelylle katsomaan auringonlaskua ja leikkimään rannalle. Ihana paikka!

Monday, May 17, 2010

And Publicity He Gets



If you are traveling on I-4 near Tampa, make sure to look for Bates RV signs and wonders, one being this Legal Attraction. Mr. Bates says all he wants is publicity by displaying these eight retired Airstreams next to his business Bates RV. And publicity he gets, even on our puny start-up blog. Next on the agenda is lighting this attraction at night. Stay tuned, we will keep an eye on this site to see what happens. (In case you are wondering, as major Airstream fans, we think these Airstreams sticking out of the ground are really cool!!!)





We actually stopped by Bates RV last weekend for the first time, and got to tour inside of a few brand-new Airstream trailers. They really are something. Beautiful, sleek, spacious, well-designed, and worth a lot of moo-lah...!



But nothing was quite as nice as our 1991 Airstream Motorhome, our home sweet home, at least on the road!

Exploring The Ranch


Our friend V & Missy headed to get strawberries for Sunday's delicious pound cake (thanks, Mrs. H!!! - The kids had it for breakfast too, and it was yummy :).



All the boys, including our guest M, tried fishing on Sunday, but caught no fish. Spotted an alligator though!!!!!! Yikes!!

Between the slow internet and busy schedule, it is tough to keep up with Mothership Adventures! We do try to steal moments of pure leisure (or should we call them 'learning opportunities'??), and continue exploring the ranch. We feel very fortunate to have such a great rental set-up! God has surely blessed our adventures..





Missy & Little Miss caught tadpoles from the little brook flowing through the property. I remember doing all these activities (berry picking, fishing, tadpole hunting) as a kid, and it is so satisfying to watch our kids enjoy the same things.. Even if it is on the other side of the world...



Speaking of learning opportunities: our local guests informed us that the oranges on the ranch are not frost-bitten, as we had assumed. Apparently, these Florida oranges just don't look as pretty as their California cousins, yet have much more flavor inside as you bite into them. How ignorant can we Yankees (and foreigners) be??!! :)




Beyond the strawberry farm we discovered sweet tomatoes, basil and lettuce. We made a little tomato, basil, olive oil dish to go with our grilled lamb yesterday. What a feast! And it really did taste better being picked from our backyard. Yum!

Our future plans are starting to come together, somewhat. The wind is blowing us toward the beach tomorrow, but will start bringing us North a bit sooner than we expected. More on that later ;)

Friday, May 14, 2010

Strawberries/Mansikoita!!



Today we (well, some of us) ventured out to our backyard strawberry farm. Not sure what to expect, we brought a bowl just in case we found some berries (being the end of strawberry season).



And berries we found! Yum! Juicy, plump, delicious red strawberries! So sweet! So deliciously sweet my first bite transported me back to my childhood Finland. I think I actually cried a bit. And had another one. And another.. And..



Out of this bowl of plentiful strawberries we actually might have five left. Or maybe none. We had company over and the strawberries were the salad. (Why add anything else to their yumminess??? - Is that an actual word?)


This is how close we are to the strawberry heaven: that is our roof peeking through the trees in the middle of the picture, behind the shed.


Eating these berries is a serious job!

*****

Vuokratalomme takapihalla on mansikkatarhaus. Saimme luvan mennä poimimaan mansikoita näin sesongin lopulla, joten suuntasimme sinne tänään (osalla porukalla). Meitä odotti uskomaton mansikkataivas - makeita, isoja, ihania mansikoita! Söimme niitä mahan täydeltä niin tarhauksessa kuin kotona myöhemmin (kulhollinen mansikoita oli illan salaatti, vaikka meillä oli vieraita :). Ensimmäinen haukkaus toi niin elävästi mieleen Suomen, kesät ja mansikat että kyyneleet nousivat silmiin.. Mansikkaparatiisi!!